Crew partially falls through floor while fighting fire

Firefighters attend to a George Urban Boulevard house fire on September 14th.  (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
Firefighters attend to a George Urban Boulevard house fire on September 14th.  (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

CHEEKTOWAGA – A Friday afternoon house fire was fraught with some tense moments after firefighters partially fell through the floor while fighting the fire.

U-Crest Hose Company’s First Assistant Chief Garrett Wynn says the fire broke out just before 1 pm on the 300 block of George Urban Boulevard.

“I observed a light amount of smoke coming from the eaves and ridge of the house.  There was also fire blowing out of the window on the second floor on the right-hand side of the house by the driveway,” Mr. Wynn said.

U-crest Engine 1 was the first fire truck on scene.  They entered the house with a hose and started to put water on the fire.

“The fire was located in between the first and the second floor, and it had extended up and into the second floor, and it reached the attic.”

The fire had weakened the floor, and it caused two firefighters from the Hy-View Fire Company to partially fall through the floor and into the floor joists.  This prompted a “mayday” call from the crew and an order to evacuate from Mr. Wynn.

All the firefighters working the fire assembled with their respective crews outside the building so an accountability check could be performed.  Everyone was okay.

“We could hit the reset button at that point and regroup and decide how we were going to proceed.   At that point, after I had discussed what exactly had happened and what the conditions were inside the building, I felt comfortable transitioning back into an interior attack.  We knew exactly where the hole was.”

The fire was extinguished within 20-25 minutes.  The two firefighters who went through the floor were “banged up” a little bit, but they were not transported to the hospital.  Another firefighter from U-Crest suffered heat exhaustion and was treated at the scene.

The fire is currently under investigation by the Cheektowaga Police Department’s Fire Investigation Unit.

Two people who live in the home were at work at the time of the fire.

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